The Pandemic Beyond the Swedish Headlines - Experiences from Tanzania, South Africa and Guatemala

Arrangör FUF, Act Svenska Kyrkan
Tid 2022-05-17 17:0019:00
Plats FUF's Office, Ehrensvärdsgatan 4, 11235 Stockholm, Stockholm
FUF's Office

Welcome to the FUF Headquarters for an exciting conversation with representatives of civil society organisations directly from Tanzania, South Africa and Guatemala. We offer snacks and drinks from 17:00!

As the economies of high-income countries recover from the effects of the pandemic and fully vaccinated Swedes start to make new travel plans, to many, Covid-19 is starting to feel like a thing from the past. But in other parts of the world, the picture is completely different. Large parts of the world's population has yet not recieve a full vaccination, and the economic and social effects of the pandemic are still brutal in many ways. For the first time in 30 years the number of people living in poverty saw a steady increase. Millions of lives have been lost to the virus in the richer parts of the world, whilst in lesser economically developed countries it is the effects of restrictions that have caused the most deaths, primarily among children and youth. At the beginning of this year 60 million students had still not returned to school or were experiencing disruptions to their education - contributing to an already massive educational debt. The ramifications of the Russia's war in Ukraine are in turn adding new challenges to societies already under social and economic stress.

How have the governments of Tanzania, South Africa and Guatemala attempted to alleviate the acute crisis as societies locked down and billions of people lost their livelihood overnight? What role have civil society, churches and communities played? What lessons can be learned when handling the new crises? How these countries affected by soaring food prices? And how can the outside world contribute to creating preparedness and the ability to handle new crises?

Participating partners of Act, Church of Sweden:

Isobel Frye, Director of SPII, Studies in Poverty and Inequality Insititue. SPII is a leading voice in the vivid debate in South Africa on the special relief grants that the government introduced. The grants were planned to be temporary, but after strong popular protests, they have been extended. SPII is also a key voice in the debate on Basic Income Grant, a debate which the pandemic has brought back on the political agenda in South Africa.

Annabella Sibirián, director of The International Platform against Impunity in Mesoamerica. The Platform has published a report on the effects of COVID-19 that, among other findings, shows that the pandemic has exacerbated the patterns of threats, criminalization, attacks and other forms of retaliation faced by land, environmental and human rights defenders, as well as community leaders, indigenous peoples and journalists. Annabella is a leading civil society voice in Guatemala and is also engaged in the European network on advocacy on Central America (EULAT).

Gloria Mafole, Country Director at LM International in Tanzania. Gloria is a human rights lawyer and until recently policy adviser at the Christian Council of Tanzania, working on issues such as business and human rights, shrinking democratic space, and social protection. Courageous churches in the country spoke openly about COVID-19 and how people should protect themselves – at a time when it was forbidden to talk about it, and the President denied the existence of the disease in Tanzania.

The conversation is arranged by the FUF The Swedish Developmen Forum and Act, Church of Sweden in English and it will be recorded. The last day to register to attend at the FUF Headquarters is 16/5.